Science - May 6, 2004

Visa delays questioned

Wageningen University has declared Rita Verdonk, minister for immigration and integration, liable for the costs arising from the delay in processing requests for a temporary residence permit for international non-EU students.

Labour party (PvdA) members of parliament Jeroen Dijsselbloem and Jacques Tichelaar asked questions in the Dutch parliament concerning the issue. Verdonk defended herself saying that she had never guaranteed that requests would be dealt with within a certain term. According to the minister it is impossible during peak periods for the IND to process requests within two weeks. In July 2003 the IND received over 3,000 requests for temporary residence permits. There are no laws governing the time within which requests for permits should be dealt with, so there is no question of Wageningen University receiving damages. Dijsselbloem told Wb that he does not know whether he will pursue the matter further.

Guido van Hofwegen

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